Local mental health care “an example to others”
22nd May 2012
Local MP James Morris has hailed action being taken to improve mental health care in Rowley Regis as an example for other parts of the country to learn from.
Mr Morris has applied for a debate in Parliament to discuss the initiatives that have been introduced by local GPs and health authorities, to consider how other areas could also benefit.
Sandwell GPs have established a number of schemes to shift the focus away from dealing with the effects of psychosis, to support people’s mental wellbeing at an early stage.
Mr Morris is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health, which has also requested a full-length debate in the House of Commons on the future of mental health provision nationally.
He praised the work being done locally in Rowley Regis, saying:
“The overwhelming majority of resources allocated to mental health care are focussed on safeguarding people suffering from serious psychosis, to ensure that they do not pose a risk to themselves or to others, with relatively little being allocated to primary care to prevent people’s mental health deteriorating to that extent.
“Given the concerns raised by Mind into the effectiveness and a lot of acute mental health care, it is particularly important that we look at what ways there are to look after people’s mental wellbeing and offer alternatives to drug-based psychiatric treatment.
“Doctors and other health professionals in Rowley Regis are showing that other strategies do have a real and measurable effect. I have asked for a debate in Parliament because I want the rest of the country to learn from what is being done here.”
Tipton-based GP Dr Ian Walton, who leads on mental health issues on behalf of Sandwell and West Birmingham doctors, said:
"The Sandwell mental health and wellbeing service, by being based in primary care and the community, works because it brings together all sectors including physical and mental health, social care, education, probation, housing, the third sector and the local community and uses their combined resources.
“Instead of the traditional approach, which tends to maintain dependence by trying to help people them by doing things for them, we give each person individual choice, providing a supportive network that allows people to overcome challenges, work towards their goals, validate their lives, and improve their quality of life. Our recovery rates are amongst the highest in the country."